Saturday, November 09, 2019
The Suffering And Death Of A Worldly Cleric
At one time, when St. Francis of Assisi lay ill in the bishops' palace in Rieti, Italy, a certain cleric, a dissolute and worldly man, was struck ill and lay in bed in immense suffering. He instructed others to carry him on a gurney before St. Francis and tearfully begged Francis to bless him with the sign of the cross. Francis said to the cleric, "Since you lived in the past according to the desires of the flesh, not according to to the judgments of God, why should I sign you with the sign of the cross?" Francis continued, "I sign you in the name of Christ; but know that you will suffer worse things if after you are delivered to return to your vomit." Francis again continued, "Because of the sin of ingratitude worse things than the first are inflicted." After Francis had made the sign of the cross over the cleric, the man arose completely healed, and broke out into praise, proclaiming, "I am freed!" However, the bones in his loins popped and crackled like sticks of dry wood being broken by hand.
After a short time, the cleric gave his body again to impurity. Then one evening after dining with another of his fellow clerics and slept there that night, all of a sudden the roof of the house collapsed on top of them. Everyone escaped the house but the wretched cleric who was cut in half.
Saint Francis of Asasisi
Celano, Second Life